SOURCE: Rail Europe

June 09, 2006 23:18 ET

German Rail News for World Cup Fans and Tourists

WHITE PLAINS, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 9, 2006 -- Europe's newest and largest rail station, Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Hbf) and the German Railpass from Rail Europe make getting around Germany -- to World Cup matches as well as for sightseeing -- faster and easier than ever.

New Berlin Main Station (Hbf)

Built over the last 10 years at a cost of 700 million Euros ($890 million US) and opened on May 26, Berlin Hbf is a key element of the German Railroads' (DB) efforts to improve rail service into and out of Berlin on both long-distance and regional lines, eliminating inefficiencies resulting from the damage of World War II and the Cold War division of the German capital. More than 300,000 people are expected to use the station daily, with 1,500 departures of local, regional and long-distance trains.

The station is located in the geographical center of the city, at the crossing of both east-west and north-south rail lines. It is the only station in Berlin that links all long-distance rail lines with regional and S-Bahn local services. Travel from the new station to Berlin Ost or Berlin Zoological station requires only a 10-minute S-Bahn/subway ride.

The new 3.4 km (2 mi)-long Tiergarten rail tunnel reduces travel times as much as 40 minutes on major southbound routes, such as Berlin-Leipzig-Munich, Berlin-Dresden-Prague and Berlin-Erfurt.

Since most rail service has shifted to the new central station, there has been a reorganization of service in and out of the city's other stations. The Zoo station is now used solely for shorter, regional traffic, while Berlin Ost will be used for some intercity trains, but at a greatly reduced level. Most trains operating to Berlin Ost will also stop at the new central station. Berlin Lichtenburg station will continue to be used for night train services into Eastern Europe.

New high-speed line

Also speeding travelers within Germany is the country's fifth high-speed (186 mph) rail line, consisting of 55 miles of new track (Nuremburg to Ingolstadt), and 51 miles of upgraded track (Ingolstadt to Munich), built at a cost of 3.6 billion Euros ($4.5 billion US). The line was opened especially for World Cup service and will be in full operation this coming December, cutting travel time between Nuremburg to Munich from 1 hour 27 minutes to 1 hour.

German Railpass -- discounts for two together or youth

A German Railpass from Rail Europe, starting at $200 US/$240 CAD (2nd class) and $263 US/$316 CAD (1st) for 4 days of unlimited rail travel within a 1-month timeframe, must be purchased in North America before you leave. Up to six more rail travel days may be purchased (before departing for Germany). A German Twinpass is the best value for two people traveling together; cost is just $300 US/$360 CAD (2nd cl) or $400 US/$480 CAD (1st) -- for both people. Passengers under 26 qualify for a Youth version of the German Railpass for $163 US/$196 CAD (in 2nd class only) for 4 days of travel.

Rail Europe also sells German Rail 'n Drive Passes, combining rail travel and car rental, starting at $205 US/$255 CAD for 2 days of rail travel (2nd cl) and 2 days of economy Hertz car rental (on consecutive or non-consecutive days) within a 1-month period. Four car categories are available and extra days of rail or car may be added.

Going between just two cities? Rail Europe also sells a wide range of point-to-point rail fares and routes throughout Germany or between Germany and other European countries, as well as railpasses (such as Eurail France-Germany, Eurail Germany-Austria Pass and many others).

Rail Europe is the oldest and largest North American supplier of European rail products, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year. For more information or to book German or other European rail products, contact a travel agent or log on to www.raileurope.com or call 1-888-382-7245 (in the U.S.) or 1-800-361-7245 in Canada.

PHOTOS:

High-resolution photo of Berlin's new central rail station (Hauptbahnhof) is available upon request from ajl@ajlazaruspr.com

High-resolution photos of German and other European trains may be downloaded at www.raileurope.com/presspix

Contact Information

  • Press contact:
    Chris Lazarus
    A.J. Lazarus Associates, Inc.
    (718) 789-1500
    Email Contact